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Communion Meditations (2015)

Forgiveness-But Not Yet

Originally scheduled for June 21

Who is the person in your life who is most difficult to forgive?

·         For a very small minority of us, this person is someone who has done something major and completely offending. If the subject comes up, all of our friends know exactly where we stand on the issue — we’re not forgiving that one!

·         For others, the offense is not so large; indeed, rather minor — but very annoying. It’s not the offense which is the main barrier to forgiveness. It’s the attitude of the person to be forgiven.

·         For a lot of us, it’s something so trivial that for the most part we forget it — until someone else reminds us of it. It’s been with us so long that it has coalesced into a very difficult situation.

It’s not that were not going to forgive them. We know that we should, and someday we will — but not just yet. Why is it that we postpone forgiveness?

·         With some people it’s the thought that we savor revenge. This is particularly true when the revenge is rather petty. Someday were going to get even with that guy who borrowed my stapler and never returned it. (“Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord” — so don’t steal from him.)

·         Some of us are waiting to become a better Christian — which, of course, is accomplished in part by forgiving people.

·         Most commonly, we’re hoping that God forgets about the whole thing. After all, we need to receive forgiveness from God. If we forget and postpone forgiveness thereby, surely he forgets too? Not likely.

The subject is pertinent to communion, because we are to take communion “in a worthy manner.” We are taught to examine ourselves, which I submit includes examining our forgiveness or lack of it. In communion we partake of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; Paul in particular tells us that we must “recognize” the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. That body, that blood was given for your forgiveness. It is the price that God paid to forgive you. So, in a very real sense, when you take communion you are remembering the forgiveness of God. If you are remembering His forgiveness for you, how can you forget your forgiveness for others?

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